How to Prepare for a Tooth Extraction

dentist holding up a model of the mouthDid you know that even the healthiest smiles may face a tooth extraction at one point or another? This simple procedure is designed to address a range of dental issues, including deep tooth decay, orthodontic problems, tooth pain, and more. Tooth extractions may even be necessary for individuals who require a dental prothesis or dental implants.

At Meredith G. Davis, DDS, our skilled team is here to provide the very best dentistry in Richardson, TX. We offer a range of preventive services, including gentle tooth extractions that can even be paired with a comforting sedation service. Call today to learn more about how we can repair your smile!

Here are a few things you can do to make things easier when the time comes for your own surgical tooth extraction. Read on to learn more!

1. Know Your Medical History

Like your primary care doctor, dentists are a vital part of your medical team, which is why it's key that you are open and honest about your health history. For instance, if you are a smoker, it is very important that you tell your dentist. If you're taking medication, your dentist needs to know, prior to the extraction, as well. Your specific dosage of blood thinners, in particular, is an especially important piece of information to relay as it may impact the levels of medication used during surgery. 

2. NPO After Midnight

Unless your dentist explicitly tells you otherwise, it's best that you completely avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight, the night before your surgery. This includes water, coffee, and juice. It's a small inconvenience, but it's one that will help you in the long run. In addition to providing safer surgical conditions, a completely empty stomach minimizes the risk for developing nausea and vomiting, post-procedure.

3. Monitor Your Day-to-Day Health

It's best that patients go into surgical extractions feeling healthy and strong. So, if you have a cold, flu, or virus, it's imperative that your dentist knows right away. Undergoing surgery during an illness could prolong and negatively-impact healing time. Your dentist will know whether or not you should delay or move forward with the surgery. 

4. Remove Dental Prostheses, Jewelry, and Makeup

If you wear clear braces, dentures, or any other kind of removable dental prosthesis, it will likely need to be removed prior to your extraction. Be sure to bring along a carrying case for the prosthesis to keep it safe. Additionally, all jewelry should be left at home and makeup should be skipped the day of the procedure. 

5. Ask the Questions that Matter to You

Surgical extractions can be daunting for anyone, and all dentists would prefer to work on a calm and informed patient over an anxious one. To ensure that you're at your mentally-best on the day of the procedure, be sure to ask the questions that matter to you, including ones pertaining to your unique post-surgery routine. Many patients find it helpful to write these questions down and ask them directly to their dentist. 

6. Don't Be Afraid to Be Nervous!

If you're feeling anxious or nervous, be sure to talk to your dentist about it. A surgical extraction is a very common and safe procedure, but it can be difficult for some patients to accept. Patients who are particularly nervous about the procedure should seek out a dentist who provides sedation services, like laughing gas, oral conscious sedation, or IV sedation. 

7. Follow Your Post-Procedure Care Sheet

After the procedure is complete, you will be given instructions on how to care for the area. Be sure to follow them closely so that you can heal properly. Know that recovery time after a tooth extraction varies depending on the individual, but most patients are instructed to avoid biting down on that side of the mouth for a few days. Swelling, discomfort, and gum pain is also expected but should be easily treated with an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen. 

Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for your tooth extraction, but following these tips will help make the process go more smoothly!  If you have any more questions or need help scheduling your tooth extraction in the Richardson, TX area, call the experts at Meredith G. Davis, DDS today!

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